Accountability is an elusive concept, but understanding where it originates can help citizens find ways to hold governments accountable.
As governance is primarily a series of service operations with the ultimate objective of maximizing citizens’ welfare, use of management principles such as the Six Sigma concepts (data, focus on clients/citizens, quality) combined with Lean thinking (process flow, minimizing the costs of unnecessary complexity) can help to transform government service organizations into more efficient and citizen friendly agencies.
But we are a nation where Accountability is for citizens only not for Govt Administration and agencies.
For instance, we have so many pothole laden roads are the engineers ever held responsible for the same?
Every year crores and crores of rupees are spent by the corporation, PWD agencies in extensive pothole patch repairs. Because of adverse media coverage, these agencies do patch repairs of main streets in urban areas and main highways in rural areas after the monsoon season are over. By lanes in towns and cities and some secondary roads in rural areas usually, remain neglected for years.
The current hot topic hovering around Belagavi is the use of Plastic. The corporation has all of a sudden awakened and enlightened for the better we must say, but the way it is going to shops with torches and searching each and every rack for plastic bags and then imposing a fine.
The ones involved may not even know the act, as some goods come with plastic bags from the manufacturer they also wanted to seize them.
But the Govt agency is not interested in stopping this at the manufacturing level or the ones who sell them. They find easy targets like shops and fine them. It is true when at fault you have to pay for it. But the question here is why only the Common citizens?
One more daunting apathy, especially in Belagavi, is the approach of the Police in imposing fines for nonwearing of helmets and other documents. But we hardly see them performing their main duty of maintaining traffic. We have posted about this a zillion times, but the rules are for the common man. The police jeep can be parked in Ramdev Galli for 20 mins no one asks, but when I just stop the car so that passengers alight I am fined for no parking.
One school of thought will say the wrong has to penalized. True, but the accountability must be both ways.
Take one more instance, the taxmen will send notice of some kind of lethargy in the self-assessment return one has filed. Notices are sent to people who have paid tax only as that is the only record they have. The one who has never paid any tax but is still liable roams about freely but the taxmen have no data.
The Corporation does it regularly with the Property tax. The ones who have paid are the only who are asked have you paid or the property is surveyed to find out if you have hidden something. But there are 5 storey structures who have not paid tax for years but the corporation has no information about them hence only the common man who pays his taxes is on their radar.
Each department must be made accountable, it is not the common man who has to be held accountable always but the Govt Administration must also be held accountable for its lethargy.